19-year-old asks court to let her watch father’s execution
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A young mother says she’s hoping her lawsuit will help her father’s execution.
Travis Thomas told the judge that he doesn’t want his wife to watch the execution. In court pleadings, his lawyers have called for the state to pay some compensation to Travis’s wife and child so they can watch his execution.
“If he doesn’t have to witness his own death, why do we have to sit here and watch yours,” Thomas’s lawyer, Thomas A. Anderson, asked the judge.
The state responded, “Your Honor, I have nothing but disdain for the man who is about to be executed by lethal injection. And he is not in the courtroom.”
The case attracted national attention. A video of Thomas’s wife, Kim, weeping as she watched her husband’s death in the Tennessee death chamber made headlines across the country.
And, even though Thomas’s lawyers claimed in the court filings that Travis has a “significant mental illness,” the Tennessee governor, Phil Bredesen, said it was a “very difficult day” for him.
“The family deserves the support and comfort of the state and they have shown that during the trial,” Bredesen said during an interview with CBSN’s “Face the Nation.”
Before the execution, Kim and Travis had not seen each other. But Thomas’s lawyers said they’d made plans to have Kim meet him at the jail so the family could spend just one night together before he’s given a lethal injection and killed.
They had written letters, but Thomas’s lawyers said they’d been turned away at the prison’s phone number.